Somebody recently asked me how can I start a business in less than Rs. 50,000/- or less than USD 900/- (approx.). To the uninitiated, this is no startup capital given that we are flooded with information about Billions being paid to companies for fending off competition. It is hard earned money that somebody wants to properly utilize and become a successful businessperson.
This got me thinking of a quick framework that could help in decision making:
- Low capital means no capex
- Low capital also means limited to 0 BTL marketing
- Low capital also means lot of self work
- Low capital also means no fancy office space
- Low capital also means need to be profitable soon
Additionally, one should reflect and assess whether they are a ‘product person’ or a ‘services person’. Here is a good guide for the same. The Happy Startup School gives some good and easy classification of all pros and cons of both the business.
Needless to say. Any genuine product development is not possible without reasonable capital – whether it is technology or any kind of manufacturing. So, I am not pursuing the product options. I believe a good product requires a minimum capital of Rs. 5,00,000/- (approx $10,000).
With this context, below are few ideas and tips for a company in less than Rs. 50,000 –
- Nature of company – Start with a proprietary firm or LLC partnership. Do not get into trap of Pvt. Ltd yet. It is a lot of paper work to do filings and submissions to government . Besides, in an unlikely event of your failure, its a long arduous and painful journey to shut down the business.
- Few Services Business examples in less than Rs. 50,000/-
- Travel Agency – Indians are traveling more and more. This trend is only growing from here. So open a travel website or travelogue to help people with their travel plans. Below is the growth this sector is going to witness over the next 8-10 years. So, if executed well, it s a great starter for you.
- Recruitment and Manpower Services – You speak to anyone in HR department and they would always complain that they cannot find right candidates. If you speak to any candidate seeking a job change, he/she would complain that they cannot find the right job as it is difficult to get past the HR screening. If you can fill this gap with good resume screening and initial interview services, then you would get traction really fast in the market. Below is the trend for hiring in 2017 (source: Michael Page)
You can further lap up these services with going across the value chain i.e. blue collar supply like technicians, security guards and general labor. The key challenge though is going to be building a supply chain for manpower.
- Education and Training Services – Individuals and businesses are continuously seeking opportunities to re-train and re-skill themselves. For businesses, it is to keep their workforce relevant for the future. For individuals, it is relevant to keep their skills market relevant. Despite the mushrooming for many such services, there is significant runway in this field. All you need is a zeal, set of skills, one table and a chair. If you think you can teach students in school, then there is a huge market waiting for your services – provided you have strong credentials to get your first student and are able to get some results in first year of your running. Here are some sector facts (source: Ibef.Org)
- Freelancing/ Professional Consulting Agencies – Right from web development to mobile app development to project management to marketing planning to organisational effectiveness support. There are tons of professional services that you can provide to companies – provided you have the skill. Identify your skill, hone it further and then start networking to provide these professional services. Here it is important to say no than to say yes. Because once you spoil an assignment, getting repeat business is difficult. The link has some of the hot skills required in the marketplace.
The obvious question is where can you spend this Rs. 50,000/- judiciously. Here is a simple split of the Rs. 50,000/- you have in hand to start. Its only a reference and not a recommendation. This may vary as per the business you chose.
Would put in another post on how to do marketing in a thread-bare budget for your services business.
All the best with your plunge!